Life on bikes

UK Bike Theft Protest Ride

It was, I think everyone agrees, a great day out.

The reason we all gathered together is not so great. There is a bike theft crime wave happening in many big cities and in London it has reached almost epidemic levels.

We were there to send a message out to the authorities – we’ve had enough and you need to do something.

UK Bike Theft Protest organisers
Ace Cafe owner Mark Wilsmore and organisers Emanuel Barb and Tim Fawthrop marshall the troops

Speeches were thankfully kept to a minimum. It was the volume of bikes that did the talking. It felt like thousands, but it was probably closer to 600-700. Not bad for a day that started at around 4 degrees.

Bikers listening to speeches
Speeches, then ready for the off

Considering there were hundreds of bikers, riding fairly close-knit, there was a minor miracle – nobody had an accident.

Hoodlum #bikelife antics were kept to a minimum. There were a few burnouts in Parliament Square and an attempt at a wheelie by a quad on the Westway, and that was it.

In fact, the nearest anyone got to a bit of naughtiness was I accidently came home with a marshall’s bib Mark, the Ace Cafe’s owner, had given me to help guide the ride.

Bikers gather to protest
Parliament Square was ours for around an hour

We made it onto the local news, so hopefully the powers that be have noticed.

And if they haven’t, then the group is already talking about a repeat ride every month until policies are put in place to give bikers better protection from the bike theft gangs.

I’m pretty sure the last thing the authorities want is the chaos we managed to cause in Park Lane, Downing Street and, for an hour or so, the grid-locking of Parliament Square.

Personally, I’ll do it again and again until they act.

If you were at the ride and want a memento of the day you can download the video below, which features all but 50-60 of the riders, from Vimeo.


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The Author

Ian Malone

Ian Malone

Ian is the Editor and a co-founder of Biker & Bike.

He is obsessed about bikes to the point that he often starts conversations with new people by saying, "Please don't get me onto the subject of bikes. We'll be here all day."

Inevitably, the next question asked is nearly always, "What bike have you got, then?"

He's 'down' to three bikes at the moment:

'97 Triumph Daytona T595
'11 Triumph Tiger 800
'13 Triumph Speed Triple R

He's not even a huge Triumph fan, it just turns out that's how the stable is filled at the moment.

Having been on every continent except Antartica (as long as Cuba kind-of qualifies as South America) he is a big fan of travelling. However, to his deep but hopefully not eternal shame, he's only ever explored Europe on two-wheels and only started doing this a few years ago.

His main mission now is to explore as much of the world on two wheels as possible, at the same time as trying out as many new motorcycling experiences as he can and go on to inspire other bikers to do the same.

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